The Unwise Tree
Once upon a time there was a tree. It was a lovely-looking tree, shapely, strong, and stately. But appearances are not always to be trusted, and they were not in this case. For the tree knew inwardly that its massive strength was beginning to wane. When the wind was strong it had felt itself shaking ominously, and heard suspicious creaks. So, wisely, it took itself in hand. With much effort it grew another branch or two, and then looked stronger and safer than ever. But when the next gale blew, there was a terrific snapping of roots and, but for the support of a friendly neighbor, it would have been flat on the ground. When the tree had recovered from the shock, it looked at its neighbor curiously. “Tell me,” it asked, “how is it that you have not only stood your ground, but are even able to help me, too?” “Oh,” replied the neighbor, “that’s easy. When you were busy growing new branches, I was strengthening my roots.” (Prairie Overcomer).